What is it?
Before you pay £85,000 for a new Audi Q8 60 TFSIe Quattro Competition (or £92,000 in the case of our optioned-up car), it makes sense to examine exactly why you’re buying the plug-in hybrid version of Audi’s flagship SUV.
The case for the car itself is strong: this is a rakish-looking SUV-coupé featuring all the latest hardware from a progressive manufacturer. It’s both better-looking and sportier than the Q7 that sits below it in the Audi range, because it’s 66mm shorter and 33mm lower, yet it has virtually the same roomy five-seat interior, because it sits on the same wheelbase.
The PHEV part contains the conundrum. Instead of buying a conventional V6 petrol engine, you’re committing (for more money) to a powertrain whose main virtue is a 22-to-27-mile electric-only range in a car whose size means its main strength is long journeys. This is the seventh modern Audi PHEV to be offered in the UK, and most of the others are more economical.